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Retiming Lake Shore limited


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#21 railiner

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 02:23 AM

It is truly sad that we cannot do NY to Chicago in 16-17 hours anymore, while similar distances are done by many LD trains in 17 hours or less with as many as 7-9 stops on the way, with max speed restricted 81mph, even in maddeningly dense passenger and freight traffic.

81mph?   Did they "raise it" from 79mph?   :unsure:

 

Agreed that they should be able to run at least a 17 hour schedule.  If they added another train, not having to combine at ALB with a BOS section would help that cause...


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#22 jis

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 08:28 AM

US laws do not apply in other countries. 130kph is roughly 81mph.

 

I noticed that I missed the phrase "in other countries" in my original post, which I have now inserted to disambiguate. In the absence of that phrase, railner, your question was a legitimate one, and my answer makes sense only with that phrase in there. Sorry about the confusion.


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Edited by jis, 31 March 2018 - 12:13 PM.


#23 neroden

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 09:49 PM

It is truly sad that we cannot do NY to Chicago in 16-17 hours anymore, while similar distances are done by many LD trains in 17 hours or less with as many as 7-9 stops on the way, with max speed restricted 81mph, even in maddeningly dense passenger and freight traffic.

81mph?   Did they "raise it" from 79mph?   :unsure:
 
Agreed that they should be able to run at least a 17 hour schedule.  If they added another train, not having to combine at ALB with a BOS section would help that cause...


Minor explication on my "two a day" proposal. (Which I would push more actively if... well, if I didn't spend most of my life sick and taking care of medical problems, frankly.)

There isn't enough BOS-ALB business to justify two trains per day; Amtrak rarely fills the existing rather small Boston section. So if we got TWO A DAY only one of them would have a Boston section. The other would not.

I think the existing eastbound LSL should be retimed to its original earlier departure from Chicago as proposed in the PIP. (Acting as a "cleanup train" is inappropriate for one of the most successful LD trains; give the CL the cleanup role, it'll help its weak ridership.)

The westbound LSL should also depart earlier, to make it possible to get to 9 AM meetings in Chicago. There's no commuter traffic coming in on this route to Chicago so there's no commuter rush to avoid.

I also made a slight revision as someone pointed out that people get out of events in NYC very late; it makes Albany more viable.

Great Lakes Express (slight revision)

(Eastbound)
Chicago 10:00 AM
Toledo 3:50 PM
Cleveland 6:20 PM
Buffalo 9:21 PM
Syracuse 11:48 PM
Albany 4:15 AM
New York 6:53 AM

(This requires a new slot through upstate NY.)

(Westbound)
New York 12:35 AM
Albany 4:00 AM
Syracuse 6:44 AM
Buffalo 8:54 AM
Cleveland 12:40 PM
Toledo 3:10 PM
Chicago 6:40 PM

(This requires a new slot through upstate NY.)

Lake Shore Limited

(Eastbound)
Chicago 6:30 PM
Toledo 12:20 AM
Cleveland 2:50 AM
Buffalo 5:51 AM
Syracuse 8:18 AM
Albany 1:45 PM
New York 3:23 PM
(Springfield 3:00 PM -- makes Vermonter-Boston connection)
(Boston 5:28 PM)

(Note: this takes the slot of 280 through upstate NY. The existing LSL slot should be used for an Empire Service train from Niagara Falls.)

(Westbound)
(Boston 11:35 PM)
(Springfield 2:08 PM -- makes Boston-Vermonter connection)
New York 2:25 PM
Albany 5:50 PM
Syracuse 8:34 PM
Buffalo 10:44 PM
Cleveland 2:30 AM
Toledo 5:00 AM
Chicago 8:30 AM

(Note: this takes the slot of #283 through upstate NY. The existing LSL slot should be used for another Empire Service train to Niagara Falls.)

The dining car on the LSL should go to Boston, since the schedule revisions make it unnecessary on the NY side. The cafe car should go to NY. Boston should get a full business class car, since there's enough demand.

These schedules could all be shifted around by an hour or so in either direction and still have the same positive effects.
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#24 jebr

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 10:57 PM

The biggest problem I currently see with the Great Lakes Express is the arrival time into NYP: a 6:53 AM arrival means that any late train is hitting rush hour (both for track capacity through Metro North territory and platform availability at NYP.) I'm not sure if pushing the Chicago time to be earlier than 9 AM would hit any platform capacity issues or not, but at least any late train would push itself out of rush hour so it wouldn't be as big of a deal. (That being said, until the LSL has very strong OTP, I think it'd be a bit unnecessary to worry about making appointments that are within an hour or two of arrival; frankly, Amtrak isn't reliable enough on their LD services to be able to count on that sort of timekeeping.)



#25 railiner

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 01:37 AM

How about this, based on current running times over segments, added to the New York / Chicago mix....?

 

      |                                                                     /|\

     \|/                                                                     |

Train No. 41             ET                        Train No. 40

 5:10 PM        Lv  NEW YORK         Ar      11:15  AM

 5:27 PM              Newark                          10:53 AM

 6:02 PM              Trenton                          10:18 AM

 6:30 PM         Ar  Philadelphia        Lv        9:50 AM

 6:42 PM         Lv  Philadelphia        Ar        9:35 AM

 7:05 PM              Paoli                                9:10 AM

 7:45 PM              Lancaster                        8:30 AM

 7:59 PM              Elizabethtown                  8:16 AM

 8:20 PM         Ar  Harrisburg           Lv        7:55 AM

 8:30 PM         Lv  Harrisburg           Ar        7:45 AM

 9:40 PM              Lewistown                        6:34 AM

10:16 PM             Huntingdon                      5:28 AM

10:42 PM             Tyrone                              5:02 AM

11:00 PM              Altoona                            4:46 AM

11:54 PM              Johnstown                       3:52 AM

12:35 AM              Latrobe                            3:11 AM

12:46 AM              Greensburg                     3:01 AM

 1:35 AM         Ar   Pittsburgh            Lv        2:20 AM

 1:45 AM         Lv   Pittsburgh            Ar        2:05 AM

 3:25 AM               Alliance                          12:21 AM

 4:36 AM         Ar  Cleveland              Lv     11:10 PM

 4:45 AM         Lv  Cleveland              Ar     11:01 PM

 5:15 AM               Elyria                             10:31 PM

 5:48 AM               Sandusky                        9:58 PM

 6:40 AM         Ar   Toledo                   Lv      9:06 PM   

 6:50 AM         Lv   Toledo                   Ar      8:56 PM                                

 8:04 AM                Waterloo                        7:42 PM

 8:57 AM                Elkhart                           6:49 PM

 9:17 AM                South Bend                   6:29 PM

                                    CT

10:05 AM         Ar    CHICAGO            Lv     4:00 PM

                                      $$$

 

I didn't research what impact it would have on any current schedules, or connections....just an excersize to see what a modern "Broadway Limited" might look like... :)


Edited by railiner, 01 April 2018 - 01:40 AM.

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#26 spinnaker

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 02:45 PM

Nice to dream about extra trains.    The sad fact is, it ain't gonna happen.    We are lucky to have what we have.    I really wish we had an extra CL both ways. 



#27 bratkinson

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:28 PM

I don't exactly recall the schedule of the now-gone Three Rivers, but putting that back would allow a 2nd PGH-NYP schedule and provide an improvement over the once per day they have now.

 

Another option would be to put the Cardinal back on the schedule it had roughly 30 years ago, generally 12 hours different than todays' schedule.  I often boarded at WAS for the 9 or 10PM departure, and it got to CHI about 9PM as I recall.  Back then, it was daily, as well.  Made all the difference in the world.

 

But like adding ANY train to the Amtrak system, it takes money, equipment, crew, and, of course, host RR agreement to run an extra train.  If the past 20 years or so history regarding host RR 'taking on' an additional Amtrak  train, they unconditionally require Amtrak to pay some exorbitant route upgrade costs up front ($20,000,000 and up, typically) before the host RR will consider adding a train.  That's how CSX stymied reinstatement of NOL-ORL for the Sunset Limited, UPs' refusal to make the Sunset Limited daily, and the list goes on...

 

However, these days, I think the biggest hurdle to restoring or adding a train is what is perceived as a lack of equipment.  Having to schedule train turnaround times as poorly as 20+ hours for the western trains at CHI and nightmare NYP turnaround times for most of its LD departures is a crime, in my book.  But then, LD trains 4-6 hours late at their endpoints way too often explains the 'need' for such poor turnaround times.  The reality is that Amtrak is not the AT&SF or NYC of 60-70 years ago where passenger trains ran mostly on time.  


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#28 Lonestar648

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 07:10 PM

I preferred the LSL when it had the hour earlier Chicago departure because it stopped in Syracuse, Albany, and Boston earlier.  That being said, it has been nice knowing coming in late on a western LD to know that the LSL had a late departure.  To me the only way to serve Cleveland daylight is with an additional train.  Presuming Amtrak had the inventory, which they don't have, is there a business care, enough revenue day to day, to justify such a train.  I would expect some cross over from the LSL due to the schedule, nut how many additional passengers would now be traveling to/from daylight stops that didn't before?



#29 cpotisch

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 07:23 PM

When I was transferring from #422 (Texas Eagle) to #48 in February, I was very glad that the LSL had such a late departure. I got a nice, 7 hour layover to enjoy the city. I was able to take a look at the Amtrak yard (staff let me check out the Pacific Parlour Cars that were stored there), take a look at Cloud Gate, get deep-dish, and buy some Garrett Popcorn, with plenty of time to spare. I would't have had time to do half of that with the proposed earlier departure.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
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#30 railgeekteen

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 07:24 PM

Another way to get Cleveland daytime service would be to extended the Empire Service or Pennsylvanian. 


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#31 neroden

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 09:04 PM

It isn't lack of equipment.  It's really the freights owning the tracks, full stop.  If the states owned the tracks, they'd find the equipment; they've proven this in the past.


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#32 Lonestar648

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:35 AM

Yes, the Freights would prefer that Amtrak die and end all passenger rail.






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